The Week That Was

The Week That Was: All of Lawfare in One Post

By John A. Emmons, Avery Schmitz
Friday, May 5, 2023, 4:12 PM

On a live recording of the Lawfare Podcast, Benjamin Wittes sat down with Roger Parloff to discuss his work covering the Proud Boys trial, the significance of the jury’s conviction of four defendants, and more:

During the 61-day trial of five top members of the Proud Boys, Parloff populated a live blog from inside the courthouse, which is now archived on Lawfare. In his full summary of the trial, Parloff highlighted key moments in the proceedings.

On the Lawfare Podcast, David Kris and Bryan Cunningham sat down with CIA Deputy Director David Cohen to discuss his career in the federal government, U.S strategic competition with China, integration of cyber capabilities across the intelligence community, and more:

Sam Howell discussed the security challenges posed by applied quantum information science and the potential adverse effects of placing export controls on these technologies.

Stewart Baker and Richard Salgado encouraged private sector chief information security officers (CISOs) to participate in the debate regarding the reauthorization of Section 702. They argued that CISOs who want the government to do more to thwart ransomware and other cyber attacks on their networks have a stake in preserving the statute and pressing further for enhanced real-time threat sharing.

Avery Schmitz shared a report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence which details how the federal government has used surveillance authorities granted by the Federal Intelligence and Surveillance Act.

Weifeng Zhong weighed the national security risks of TikTok’s algorithm, and discussed how the company’s close monitoring of user activity could facilitate the Chinese Communist Party’s intelligence gathering efforts.

On an episode of Arbiters of Truth, Quinta Jurecic and Matt Perault sat down with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and former Congressman and SEC Chair Chris Cox. They discussed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act—which Wyden and Cox drafted together in 1996—and why the pair are suspicious of claims that the provision’s protections apply to generative AI:

Anna Lenhart considered how multilateral agreements could foster academic research initiatives by standardizing the legal expectations for researchers working abroad. 

Stephanie Pell sat down with Jim Dempsey and Jonathan Spring on the Lawfare Podcast to discuss technical vulnerabilities of artificial intelligence (AI)-based systems, cybersecurity challenges unique to AI, and more:

Jonathan Cedarbaum reviewed Arun Vishwanath’s “The Weakest Link: How to Diagnose, Detect, and Defend Users From Phishing Attacks.” He found Vishwanath’s work to be an important first step towards the systemization and measurement of phishing training, one that illustrates the need for much greater data and research.

Alan Rozenshtein sat down with Bridget Dooling and Mark Febrizio on the Lawfare Podcast to discuss the use of artificial intelligence in the regulatory process, both for commenting on proposed legislation, analyzing feedback, and even for drafting regulation in the first place:

Daphne Keller outlined the “three-body problem” of platform speech litigation: that among speakers, platforms, and those harmed by on-platform speech, only two are represented in conventional court proceedings. She advocated for greater legislative and judicial attentiveness to this three-party dynamic.

Sana Tariq drew on her personal experience working with Afghan groups to outline common failure points in negotiations with the Taliban, offering guidance for policymakers as they engage in dialogue with the group and look for openings to push the country towards a just peace after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

In the latest installment of Lawfare’s foreign policy essay series, Rueben Dass examined how different terrorist groups in Africa have used drones for surveillance and propaganda, and argued that their use will likely broaden in the future.

Colin P. Clarke and Jacob Zenn discussed how transnational jihadist groups, like Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimin, have exploited political instability to threaten west African security.

On Rational Security, Scott R. Anderson and Rozenshtein were joined by Saraphin Dhanani to talk through this week’s big national security news stories, including South Korea and the United States’ renewed commitment to their security cooperation, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s announcement that the U.S. could soon reach its debt default “X-date,” and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s recent talk at Brookings announcing a new ‘Washington Consensus:’

Mark A. Graber considered how debates about a perennial problem, alleviating the U.S. public debt, differ between the reconstruction era to today.

Ingrid (Wuerth) Brunk discussed the legal and political issues with using the doctrine of countermeasures to confiscate Russian Central Bank assets.

And on Chatter, David Priess sat down with Brendan Ballou to discuss the national security implications of private equity, the industry’s business model and impact on American competitiveness, Ballou’s antitrust work, and more:

And that was the week that was.